Great escape just happened. I suppose I should be crafting an eloquently written account of my time at the festival that really transports the reader there but you can find some real journalists to do that. This article is going to be a fucking mess which is a far better representation of the weekend I’ve just had and may actually serve as a good way of piecing together what I actually did this weekend in my own head. You guys get a good read and I get to regain my sanity a little; Win win.
As an aspiring A&R I’d like to say I spent all weekend dashing between venues seeking out the under the radar talent that’s going to be major label bait in a few months but I didn’t. I saw maybe 2 or 3 unsigned acts all weekend and anyway, anyone who thinks they can accurately assess talent when you’re as drunk as I was is probably lying (or annoyingly good at their job).
By the time I made it to the first band on Thursday I’d already been in Brighton since the previous morning and worked a full day’s work at the festival. Needless to say I was knackered but I told myself I’d try not to spend this whole article moaning about how tired/hungry/thirsty/bored I was at any given point this weekend; I did enough of that whilst I was there.
First stop was ‘The Haunt’, which although being a bit soulless, had easily the best sound of any venue I went to this weekend. Honeyblood, our favourite female scot-duo, were up first delivering a strong, albeit slightly nervously delivered set. CFJ fave ‘Super Rat’ stuck out as one of the stronger tunes but there are definitely some other killer tracks lurking around within their set. With a bit more live confidence in them these girls are going to be set to blow. Next up it was the talk of town Superfood. You could have asked almost anyone who they were seeing this weekend and you can bet these guys would have been mentioned and, having been absolutely blown away by their set, I can see why; this was one of the best live performances I had seen since Death Grips late last year although, such is the nature of the festival, this was topped a few hours later.
‘Coalition’ was next to see Childhood who were, if I’m honest, pretty underwhelming. There were far more ‘local band’ than I thought they’d be considering the amount of press they’re getting and short of Blue Velvet (which was the reason I went to see them) I didn’t hear any other killer tunes. The frontman is a cool dude though so it’s not all bad. After having to change the entire stage around in 15 minutes, which may explain the sound issues, King Krule was up next. Archy himself was absolutely captivating, a complete individual with a voice and presence that gives him a rare sense of god-like mystery that’s hard to achieve these days but there was something lacking. Whether it was the sound, the venue or maybe the fact that this crowd wasn’t captivated enough to digest songs as tender as ‘Baby blue’ or ‘Ocean Bed’ but something didn’t quite click. I still think he has the potential to release a brilliant debut though. Oh and he was wearing golfing trousers.
Then we get to the highlight of an already brilliant night, Mr Mac Demarco. Mac is a guy whose reputation precedes him and knowing that he once ended a show butt naked, singing ‘beautiful day’ by U2 with a drumstick up his ass made me more than a little excited for his live show. Although absent of any anal penetration, at least to my knowledge, this show more than lived up to the fun filled frat fest I was expecting. Mac constantly found himself in, on and under a huge crowd of truly loving fans, finishing the night swinging upside down from the ceiling before proceeding to be carried shirtless from the venue by Elliot, our mate Davey and a dude from Rizzle Kicks. Words do no justice to the brilliance and sheer ridiculousness of this gig.
Day 2 started slowly as I managed to catch the end of a great set by Splashh and the start of a pretty poor one by Popstrangers. Popstrangers seem to suffer a severe lack of focus with their songs shifting jerkily between sections that make no effort to be either technically proficient or memorable. Even standout single ‘Heaven’, the reason I went to see them, would have felt like a weak number in anyone else’s set.
A quick round of beers on the floor near Tescos, as well as being the classiest drinking spot we hit all weekend, is responsible for following short write up of Skaters; Skaters were good.
The ‘Pav Tav’, a pub with neither class nor character was the unwilling venue for the next round of carnage, the Big Scary Monsters vs Alcopop night. I genuinely couldn’t tell you what bands were playing but the combination of loyal fans, great musicians, crowdsurfing and some seriously overwhelmed barstaff made for quality viewing with the only thing that could dampen the mood being the 20 minute toilet queue and the fact I have the bladder of a small child.
Don’t ask how but sometime over the weekend with a combination of luck, luck, good fortune and some more luck we had managed to get our hands on a very sought after piece of info, the location to Superfood’s secret house party gig. With a bit of silver-tounged jiggery pokery by Elliot we found ourselves welcomed into what we’d soon realise was a very exclusive party; we witnessed a powerhouse performance in a 40 cap living room complete with crowdsurfing and encore. Superfood are on a meteoric rise at the moment and, fingers crossed this will be one of those events that will reach semi-legendary status in years to come and hopefully become increasingly brag worthy. They are also the nicest people in the universe which makes their success a victory for everyone!
If you haven’t noticed the further we get into this festival description, the vaguer my accounts get and by the third day, a combination of fatigue, laziness and my strange infatuation with hotel rooms meant I only caught one band but thankfully it was one hell of an experience. MT are already famed for their live show, which I would describe as more of a religious experience than a gig. Crowd participation is essentially mandatory at an MT gig and with good reason; if you leave your pretentions at the door of the church of MT, you’ll no doubt have one of the most uplifting experiences of your life.
There you have it, an article that was more exhausting to write than attending the festival. Brighton is a fantastic city, a vibrant, friendly place that’s the perfect setting for a festival where you can have a good time wherever you end up. You can turn up knowing none of the bands and whatever you enter over the weekend you’ll no doubt discover a differenta set of sounds and characters for you to be sucked into. There are no good bands or bad bands at great escape just a million ways to experience the most varied weekend of your life and one of the best places in Britain in which to do it.
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